The following is a Holy Week Devotional Guide organized by Hillary Ann Golden via asacredjourney.net. The opening prayers for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are taken from prayers previously posted on this blog. May God continue to bless you through this Holy Week as we prepare to praise the Risen Christ! You can download this free devotional guide here.
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Christine Sine blogs here where you can find other wonderful liturgical resources.
God who created us
Suffers because of us
god who died upon the Cross
suffers for us
God who dwells within us
Suffers with us
And in God’s suffering we find hope
God, our suffering God
Your story brings us salvation
Without you the horrors of human suffering
Would be unbearable
Your story of life, death and resurrection
gives life meaning
Because of your suffering
a new world has broken into ours
Your suffering frees us from prison
Your suffering fills the hungry with good things
your suffering frees us to live in love, joy and peace
In your eternal resurrection world
Another wonderful prayer by Christine Sine. You can view her blog here.
Jesus you took bread and broke it,
You shared it with your friends.
As you were broken to feed us with the bread of life.
Jesus you took wine and poured it out,
Grapes crushed and drained of life.
As you were crushed and drained of your life blood.
Jesus you prayed fervently in agony of spirit,
That God’s cup of suffering might pass away.
Your sweat fell like drops of blood yet you endured the pain.
You hung upon a tree and were crucified for us,
But looked in compassion on your murderers.
Look too in compassion on we who caused your suffering and your death.
Jesus you died for us and fell as a seed into the ground,
Knowing that your death
would produce a plentiful harvest of new life.
May we too be willing to die to ourselves
that others may find true and eternal life.
I found the following poem at http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocB/BGOODFRIDAY.htm.
I dared to step much closer
to the man on Skull Hill
than ever before.
past the curious crowd,
beyond the high priest’s mob,
and stood near Mary and John.
leered at me and one said:
“Take a good look mate,
it may be you tomorrow.”
I went and stood about five
paces from that central cross
and looked up.
smell of blood, sweat and urine.
I wanted to throw up;
the soldiers chuckled.
Then I braced myself
and took a long searching look
at the crucified son of Mary
in his agony.
O his eyes!
They turned this way and that
wildly searching for something
that never came.
once told me that employees
who take too much notice
don’t last long at the job.
Here things are different;
today I took a lot of notice
and saw the eyes of God
searching for God.
I’ll love him forever;
by the sheer grace of this Lord
who was forsaken that we
might never be so.
A Poem by B D Prewer 2002
This communion prayer includes sung congregational responses using three verses of the hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This.” It is submitted by Andy James via LiturgyLink.Net.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
it is right to give our thanks and praise,
for your love marks the expanse of creation,
your justice stretches out into the farthest land,
and your peace makes all things complete.
You are worthy of praise.
Yet we fall short.
We have stepped away from your love.
We have ignored your call for justice.
We have sowed conflict rather than peace.
Yet you know no boundaries.
Nothing we say or do can keep you away from us.
Even amidst all our brokenness, you kept calling us back,
with prophets and messengers and kings to guide us in your ways.
And in the fullness of time, you sent your own son, Jesus,
to intervene in our world,
to call us to know your love,
to show us that we are worthy to bring you praise.
And so we join our voices with the multitude of the ages,
singing joyfully of your wondrous love:
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul.
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the heavy cross for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the heavy cross for my soul.
Your love in Jesus Christ is wondrous, almighty God.
In him you stepped into our world;
in him you taught us how to live in harmony with one another;
in him you healed and made whole;
in him you challenged us to journey a new road together.
In his death, you took on the fullness of our pain and suffering,
and in his resurrection, you showed us that death will never have the final word.
So just as he did with his disciples on the night of his arrest,
so we too gather,
sharing a meal,
receiving the bread of his body,
welcoming the cup of his salvation,
and trusting that we too will be made whole.
And so we sing our praise to you for the wonder of this gift:
To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I Am,
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme, I will sing!
And so gather us with those millions, loving Lord.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and cup,
that the bread we break and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit, make us one with Christ and one another,
united in faith, hope, and love with all those who share this feast
as we reach out and serve the world with your grace, mercy, and hope
until your kingdom comes
and we are free to sing with all creation forever and ever:
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York
The following prayer is by Thom Shuman.
On this day, God of all tears,
you call us in the midst
of our busy lives
to look at the suffering and death
of the One who came to carry
the pain of the world into your heart.
Give us eyes to see your love
On this day
you would gather everyone
to your side,
Grace of Calvary,
but we leave you
to carry the cross alone.
You came simply as love incarnate,
but hate and bitterness
were the gifts we offered to you.
You poured out your love
so our emptiness might be filled.
Give us ears to her your pain
On this day,
you would pray for us,
for we cannot find the words
on our own,
Hear the cries of those in need.
Listen to the lament of the lonely.
Cradle the whispered hopes of children.
Set free the dreams of prisoners and captives.
Give us hearts to pray with you
God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our prayers to you in the name of the One
who suffered and died for us
and who teaches us to pray, saying,
Our Father . . .
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.
The following Good Friday prayer is by MaryAnn McKibben Dana.
O Holy God,
the hosannas have died away,
the palm branches have turned brittle.
Now, today, there is only this –
each of us,
all of us,
sitting in the darkness,
the hymns of lament in the air,
the mumblings of our own feeble confession,
on this Friday
which we tremble to call Good.
What is good about Good Friday?
What is good about the innocent one nailed to a cross?
What is good about the darkness of war that persists today?
What is good about our devastation of the planet?
… about people living in poverty?
… about the fog of addiction, depression, disease and despair?
What is good about the crushing weight of hunger, racism, scapegoating, apathy?
No, there is nothing good and desirable in these things.
Yet you, O God, are Good.
When suffering reigns, yours is the first heart to break.
When despair lurks about, we remember that you were there first,
peering into the abyss and crying out, incredibly:
“Father, forgive them.”
When we feel forsaken, we remember that in your last moments,
you cared for your mother and your beloved disciple,
binding them to one another as a new family.
When we feel overcome by guilt, we remember that you spoke grace to a thief:
“Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Your love for us is just that boundless,
What else can we say here, in the dimness,
in the darkness,
but thank you.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana is pastor of Idylwood Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, VA.